In the shadow of Faneuil Hall, approximately 150 Occupy Boston protesters sat down on the pavement. As the crowd fell silent, Stephen Squibb, a veteran of the Boston Occupy movement, stepped forward and called for a mic check. “Mic check,” the crowd repeated. Squibb then made an important announcement:“In an uncharacteristically early morning meeting, the GA of Occupy Boston has voted to dissolve itself, having realized that our mission is completely foolhardy.”
Occupy Boston came back to the site of their former encampment at Dewey Square just over six months after the movement began on September 30. Although the group was evicted from Dewey Square on December 10 of last year, plans were laid several in advance to hold a General Assembly there on April 1st. In keeping with the date’s festive character, Occupy Boston planned a march through the city poking fun at common misconceptions of the movement.
Before the march began, Occupiers assembled at Dewey Square around noon. Protesters who had not seen each other since December embraced and listened to live music played by Occupiers, shared stories, and made signs for the march. People also brought surplus clothes to trade with friends and give to those in need.
A heavy Boston Police Department presence patrolled the area. The police made sure to film occupiers engaged in such suspicious activities as unfurling a colorful parachute or tossing balls bak and forth, which were part of games intended to foster team-work. Occupiers who been arrested in December – and were subsequently ordered to not return to Dewey Square – stayed across the street near the Federal Reserve.
Occupiers marched from Dewey Square through the financial district and Government Center to Faneuil Hall. Many of the banners and chants on display sarcastically invoked the ideas that Occupy Boston is fighting against. For instance: “Hey, hey, ho, ho, Occupy Boston has got to go!” “Come on, get off it! Banks deserve some profit!” and “Tax the poor!”
When people in the street complained about the march, Occupiers were quick to retort, “Take a Shower, Get a Job!” As the marchers passed by shoppers, they urged the crowd, “Ignore Us, Keep Shopping!”
Although the day was marked by fun and games, when some protesters tried to plant a tent on the green the police were quick to respond and remove it. It was clear that Mayor Menino and the BPD were not going to allow any tents on the Rose Kennedy Greenway.
The police also made two arrests. Many in the crowd were angered and gathered around paddy wagons as their handcuffed comrades were locked away. At the time of this writing, the reasons for these arrests are unknown.
Here’s a video from Occupy Boston’s April Fools’ March:
And here’s a video showing Occupy Boston’s General Assembly voting to dissolve Occupy Boston: